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Consultants to Examine Police Response to Counterprotesters’ Attack at U.C.L.A.

U.S.Consultants to Examine Police Response to Counterprotesters’ Attack at U.C.L.A.

A police consulting firm will review a violent confrontation at the University of California, Los Angeles a week ago, in which a group of counterprotesters attacked demonstrators at a pro-Palestinian encampment while security guards and police officers failed for several hours to intervene, and made no arrests.

Michael V. Drake, president of the University of California system, said a law enforcement consultant, 21st Century Policing Solutions, would investigate the incident in an effort to “resolve unanswered questions about U.C.L.A.’s planning and protocols,” as well as the response of other law enforcement agencies.

Several people were injured late on April 30, when a group of counterprotesters, many of whom wore pro-Israel slogans on their clothes and played Israeli music, descended on the pro-Palestinian encampment at U.C.L.A. They began pulling metal barriers away from the demonstrators, shot fireworks toward them and were captured on videos punching, kicking and attacking people, sometimes with objects including sticks, traffic cones and wooden boards.

The attacks continued for more than two hours before the Los Angeles Police Department responded to the scene with the California Highway Patrol. It was unclear why the campus police force had not stepped in before then, or why it took so long for officers from the larger local and state units to arrive on the scene.

Even then, the police did not get between the encampment and the counterprotesters until nearly 3 a.m., about four hours after the violence had begun.

Earlier this week, Gene D. Block, U.C.L.A.’s chancellor, created a new campus safety office that reports directly to him, and hired Rick Braziel, a former police chief in Sacramento, Calif., to lead it. Mr. Braziel will lead a separate investigation into the violence perpetrated by the counterprotesters, and the L.A.P.D. has assigned a detective to assist, Chancellor Block said.

The consulting firm’s review of the police response, meanwhile, will be led by a team including Charles Ramsey, who led police departments in Philadelphia and Washington before founding the consulting group. The firm has worked with several local governments, as well as universities including Harvard and the University of Oregon.

Mr. Drake said the university system’s 10 campuses “must be places where our community members can safely engage in the University of California’s mission of teaching, research and public service.” The independent review, he said, would “provide us with more information to shore up our ability to protect our community members and their rights while keeping them safe from harm.”


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